Re: Nepenthes northiana and media

From: CMDodd@aol.com
Date: Mon Aug 23 1999 - 19:21:39 PDT


Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999 22:21:39 EDT
From: CMDodd@aol.com
To: cp@opus.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3012$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Nepenthes northiana and media

In a message dated 99-08-23 09:35:39 EDT, you write:

<< Hello everyone!
 
 Can anyone give me feedback on what soil mixes seem to work well for N.
 northiana? I am receiving several specimens but many of my sources seem
 to be contradictory with regards to what soil recipes work the best.
 
 In particular many of them disagree about whether it is necessary or
 not to exclude acidic components (especially peat and fir bark, which
 are the only organic components in my usual Nepenthes mix) from the
 recipe.
 Some authorities state that in the wild and in culture they will only
 grow and thrive in alkaline, largely inorganic soils, while others
 claim that in their native habitat they grow in organic soils on TOP of
 limestone, and that peat is acceptable and beneficial in culture.
 
 Opinions and experiences are greatly appreciated!
 
 Thanks!
 
 -Owen
>>

Dear Owen,

     Nepenthes northiana is a species whose soil requirements I poorly
understand. It has survived, but not thrived in mixes of 1/2 organics and
1/2 non-organics such as 1/6 fir bark, 1/6 tree fern fiber, 1/6 charcoal and
1/2 hydrated silica gel. I have also tried it in mixes with limestone
without obvious benefit. Some of these mixes tended to dry out badly and it
seems to dislike this.

     Light shading (as opposed to very bright sun) and high humidity seem to
be helpful. The species is often attacked (in Florida) by thrips and must be
watched for this. I think a regular systemic fungicide is helpful as it is
thought by some that the heavy metals like antimony, nickel, iron and others
in its native soils act as a natural fungicide. Regular pitcher feeding with
insects seem helpful in getting nutrition into the plants.

     This may not be much help and an ideal set of growing parameters for
this species has (at least under my conditions) been wanting.

Cliff



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